CAIRO: Prominent activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Doma, who are charged with violating the protest law, will begin a hunger strike next week, Doma’s wife Nourhan Hefzy said in a Saturday press conference.
The three activists were sentenced to three years in jail, fined 50,000 EGP and ordered to be placed under surveillance for three years for orchestrating illegal protests and assaulting police officers in November 2013 in front of Abdeen Misdemeanors Court. The court rejected the defendant’s appeal against their custody decision on April 7.
Doma’s wife demanded the abolishment of the protest law, saying that “youth would not give up in defending their country and for their right to live a free, respectable life.”
“Mubarak’s state was more democratic and inclusive than what we are witnessing now,” said Hefzy. She also condemned the arresting of peaceful demonstrators, saying it “is wrong and demonstrates an obvious ignoring of the government’s role to protect Egypt’s basic rights and freedoms .”
Egyptian authorities accused Maher, Adel, Doma and many others of stirring chaos and violating the law, but the protest law is the solely responsible for causing chaos in Egypt, Hefzy added.
Hefzy said that the youth will continue to defend their natural, legal, legitimate and humanitarian right, emphasizing that they will come out in the streets to freely express their opinions as long as they keep protests peaceful.
“The root reason that led to the outbreak of June 30 should be thoroughly considered. We were revolting on June 30 to restore the goals of the January 25 Revolution, which are freedom, social justice and respect of human dignity,” Hefzy said, warning Egyptian authorities that people may came out into streets again, if their demands are not met.
Human Rights Watch criticized the court’s ruling, which rejected the three activists’ appeal against their three-year prison terms. Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Division, said that the court’s verdict against the three activists “is one more nail in the coffin for Egypt’s revolution.”
On March 8, the “Freedom for the Brave” initiative issued a statement calling on the government to release imprisoned revolutionaries.
The protest law, which was adopted in November 2013, states that protesters must give the authorities three days notice before any public gathering as well as notify them of the purpose of the gathering and the slogans that are to be chanted.